Stephen Merchant is a bit of a comedy god as far as we’re concerned whose star has been somewhat overshadowed by Ricky Gervais’ but though the pair of them have written some of the best comedy moments in the last 20 years or so (check out his appearances in the little seen TV series Meet Ricky Gervais) on his own he’s produced some great work notably his american TV series ‘Hello Ladies’ (will a UK terrestrial channel please, please show this!).
Anyway he’s branching out on his own now having not been involved with writing the David Brent film (which probably have benefited even more from his involvement) but he’s is going to crop up in the new Wolverine film, ‘Logan'(even though he’s almost unrecognisable).
He’s now turning his hand to his first solo directed feature film which he will direct from his own screenplay called ‘Fighting with My Family’ due to shoot in Los Angeles and London later this month. Inspired by the Channel 4 TV documentary ‘The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family’, is based on the true story of WWE Superstar Paige and her family of professional wrestlers which included a reformed gangster Ricky.
Merchant will executive produce with, naturally enough, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson who will also take a role in the film which also stars Florence Pugh as Paige and Jack Lowden as her brother Jack.
“When Dwayne sent me the documentary, I didn’t think I’d be interested in a story about wrestling’, said Merchant,“Until I realised this is not really about wrestling at all – it’s about a young woman, her family and their struggles, which are funny, sad, tough, tender and ultimately inspiring. And just happen to involve people in spandex throwing each other about. I love that it’s a true story about a working class girl who, against the odds, climbed to the very top of her unusual profession. And as with Rocky and boxing, even if you don’t like her sport, you’ll love her journey.”
We always look forward to anything Stephen does because even if its bad he’s usually the highlight in it (‘Hall Pass’ we’re looking at you!)